Compiling the terms of reference for the programmer. How right?
It often happens that a ready-made site needs to be somehow modified : add a calculator to calculate the cost online, “fasten” a parser or statistics analyzer. It doesn't have to be building blocks. It can also be a unique service that helps in choosing, calculating or comparing. In any case, ready-made solutions will not work here, and the help of a programmer will be needed.
The main points in the TOR
For one-time work, it makes no sense to hire an employee on the staff. It is enough to find a good freelance pro. We will tell you how to correctly compose search ads, and what nuances to prescribe in the TOR. In the ad, it is desirable to immediately describe the task. This will help narrow down your search considerably. However, one proposal is not enough, so the selected contractor will need to provide TOR.
There can be any number of points in the terms of reference, but the most important and mandatory are the following six:
- Terms (deadline) and situations in which they can be rescheduled.
- Method of payment: advance or post-payment, by card or otherwise, in installments - all this must be indicated.
- Penalties and possible edits, their number.
- A detailed description of your vision of the result, quality assessment criteria.
- Technical information required for operation.
- Testing procedure.
How to describe the desired result
It is important to accurately write a description so that there are no disagreements with the performer when accepting the work. Therefore, any service must be described "from all sides" - from visual design criteria to all possible ways of user interaction with it. The contractor must clearly understand the objectives and goals of future innovations.
If you need the ability to comment, save the results, if you plan to limit the amount of work - all this should be clearly spelled out. The more detailed you can describe the desired result, the faster the process of launching a new “chip” will be.
Technical information and standards
It is important to provide the programmer with all the necessary technical information that is needed for the job, but no more than that. If we are talking about a site on one of the standard platforms, it is enough to indicate the name of the engine and the plugins used.
If the site is self-written, and you are afraid for its safety, then you can give the programmer only the name of the language. In this case, the finished program will need to be added independently, and it is not a fact that the installation will go smoothly.
If you decide that the specialist himself should add a new service, then you will need to specify information about the database, files used, language, libraries and functions. If there are conflicts with certain functions or variables, this also needs to be clarified.
Be sure to mention the standards for working with code. If you often turn to third-party specialists for help, then you will need to develop something like an editorial policy, only for programmers. It is also useful if several people are working on the project at the same time. Otherwise, there is a risk that changing someone else's code will become very difficult.
Even the simplest codes can be formatted and implemented in different ways. It is highly desirable that comments be written in it, and then any programmer can navigate the notation of variables and make the necessary changes. Programs brought to a common, standardized form are much easier to change, supplement, and improve.
If one programmer works on your tasks more often than others, then it is he who can be asked to draw up an “red policy”.
Do not forget that the terms of reference must be extremely accurate: the programmer on the “other side of the screen” will not guess what you meant. In addition, it is desirable to fully present the result before starting work. This significantly speeds up work and reduces the number of changes in the process. And one more thing - when a new program is installed, check it for the presence of its "holes", left on purpose or by accident. Only after verification, you can test and open full access to the changes.